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President Obama announced a campaign Monday to encourage education in science, technology, engineering, and math, (STEM) saying that the United States needs to make a new push to excel in the sciences as evidence shows American students continuing to fall behind other countries in science and math.
As part of the effort, called Educate to Innovate, government and private industry have committed to donating more than $260 million in new support to education projects.
That money will be spent through five public-private partnerships, which the White House says will leverage 100,000 volunteers, media, and interactive games to reach more than 10 million students by the end of 2013.
"The key to improving our health and well-being, to harnessing clean energy, to protecting our security and succeeding in the global economy, will be reaffirming and strengthening America's role as the world's engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation," the president said in remarks at the White House. "That's why education in math and science is so important."
Former NASA astronaut Sally Ride and Intel chairman Craig Barrett have signed on to recruit private sector leaders to advocate science and math education, scale out innovative science and math education efforts, and raise public awareness of the importance of science and math education.
As part of the five partnership efforts:
The White House will also begin hosting an annual science fair to showcase winners of national science, technology and robotics competitions. "If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House," Obama said. "If you're a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too."